The Columns

An Honor for Filmmaker Lorena Manríquez '88

— by on July 9th, 2015

Lorena Manríquez, the engineer turned filmmaker who is a member of Washington and Lee’s Class of 1988, recently received quite an honor from the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) for her film “Ulises’ Odyssey”: the 2015 LASA Award of Merit in Film. The juried award is given for excellence in the visual presentation of educational and artistic materials on Latin America.

An article by Ann Burton Gerhardt ’13, in the Summer 2013 edition of the alumni magazine, traced Lorena’s path from Chile to Lexington, and from a career in geotechnical engineering to one in documentary filmmaking.

On her website, Lorena describes “Ulises’ Odyssey,” co-directed with Miguel Picker, as a “search for the truth behind a 30-year rift between her father and her uncle Ulises.” The two brothers were on opposite sides in the 1973 military coup that brought General Pinochet to power in Chile and Ulises to exile in Switzerland. Through the revelation of family secrets, Manríquez exposes the recent history of Chile, her country’s painful memory, and the desire to reconcile it.

In connection with the award, “Ulises’ Odyssey” was screened on May 30 at the LASA Film Festival in San Juan, Puerto Rico. LASA is the largest professional association in the world for individuals and institutions engaged in the study of Latin America. And Lorena just found out that it will play at New York University in September.

Lorena, the president of Andes Media L.L.C., visited W&L in May as the guest of Monica Botta, associate professor of Romance languages, who taught the film in her Spring Term class on Latin American culture and literature. Lorena’s daughter Virginia, 18, accompanied her; husband Gregg Kettles ’88 and daughter Carolina, 15, held down the home front in South Pasadena, California.

Lorena’s next visit to campus will take place later this summer, when she and Gregg drop off Virginia, who’ll embark on her own path at W&L as a member of the Class of 2019.